Image by hannah grace

Session Details

Understanding Economic Impacts of Disasters and Economic Resilience 

Past Event

Webinar Format
Information Sharing

Presentation and Q&A 

August 13th
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Pacifiic Time




  • Learn about the fundamental concepts and modeling capabilities for estimating and understanding the macroeconomic impacts of disasters 

  • Learn about the available methodologies and tools for estimating economic resilience including businesses resilience

  • Discussing the insurance sector role, use of risk information in financial resilience planning as well as the opportunities in response and recovery planning including post COVID recovery


The evidence from past disasters as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic response highlight the macro-economic impacts of disasters that are far larger than the direct and immediate damages to physical assets. Understanding the direct and indirect economic impacts of disasters and the interdependency with social and environmental impacts is critical for incentivizing risk reduction investments and for designing plans and policies that are holistic and effective for building economic resilience.


In this session experts from Canada and the U.S. provide insights on the application of ex-ante estimation of the disasters’ macro-economic impacts, fundamentals of the economic resilience, and the role of sovereign risk financing and insurance industry in managing economic impacts of disasters including the response to COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.


Convened by Ms. Sahar Safaie, Sage On Earth Consulting and member of DRR Pathways Project Team.

Moderated by Ms. Malaika Ulmi, Scientific Planning Officer, Natural Resources Canada.


  • Dr. Adam Rose, US lead researcher (Director of the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events and Research Professor in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California)

  • Mr. Paul Kovacs, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR)

About Contributors

Adam Rose, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events

Adam Rose is a Research Professor in the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, and the director of USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). He has worked extensively on economic consequence analysis of natural and man-made hazards and on economic resilience, as well as on energy and climate change policy. He was the research team leader on the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council Report to the US Congress on the benefits of FEMA hazard mitigation grants, served on the National Research Council panel on Earthquake Resilience, and coordinated eight studies to arrive at a definitive estimate of the economic consequences of 9/11. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank on co-benefits of disaster risk management and on the application of the resilience triple dividend, and as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme on disaster resilience. He is currently working on studies of the macroeconomic impacts of COVID-19 for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and for the Centers for Disease Control. Professor Rose is the author of several books and 200 other publications. He currently serves as the Associate Editor of Natural Hazards Review and on the editorial boards of Environmental Hazards, Journal of Integrated Disaster Risk Management andInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science, as well as several other journals in the energy field. He has served as the American Economic Association Representative to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council and of the Advisory Board of the Center for National Policy Resilience Forum. He is the recipient of the IDRiM Distinguished Research Award, Regional Economic Models Outstanding Economic Analysis Award, Applied Technology Council Outstanding Achievement Award, American Planning Association Outstanding Program Planning Honor Award, East-West Center Fellowship,and Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.

Paul Kovacs, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Paul Kovacs is Canada's leading authority on insurance and climate change. He is the founder of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at the University of Western Ontario and the President of PACICC. Since 1996 Paul has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's leading forum for the study of climate issues and winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is presently preparing a special report for United Nations climate change negotiators, promoting insurance as a mechanism to advance disaster risk reduction. For more than thirty years Paul has been a popular commentator on insurance, disaster safety and economic policy. He has written more than 200 publications and articles and he is a passionate champion for insurance, disaster resilience and adaptation to climate extremes. Paul has worked in the private industry, governments and academia. For almost twenty years his focus has been on insurance issues. Paul serves on a number of Canadian and international advisory boards, and he has a growing collection of bow ties.

Malaika Ulmi, Natural Resources Canada - Moderator

Malaika Ulmi is a geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), with experience working in natural hazard research for risk reduction. She is part of the management team of the GSC’s Pacific Division and the Public Safety Geoscience Program which conducts research across Canada on the hazards and risks associated with earthquakes, volcanoes, submarine and terrestrial landslides, tsunamis, and space weather. Her interests lie at the intersection of science and action. She worked in South America as part of a CIDA-funded project with the governments of seven Andean nations, leading strategic planning processes for geoscience agencies and supporting the development of standards in hazard mapping. She has worked in the field in western Canada mapping Holocene volcanics; offshore British Columbia conducting surveys to better understand the Cascadia subduction zone; and in the Arctic as part of coring and seismic experiments to map seafloor geohazards.